It’s July, and you know what that means: Las Vegas NBA Summer League. MGM Resorts Las Vegas NBA Summer League action kicked off a few days ago, and we’ve already seen some colossal standouts (and a few disappointments.) Below is a list of players that have caught my eye.
Josh Hart, Lakers
The sophomore guard out of Villanova, in his second year of Las Vegas NBA Summer League, looks like he shouldn’t be playing in it, as he is above his competition. Against Chicago, Hart dropped 19 points, grabbed 6 boards, and dished out 3 assists. He followed this up with a 24-point performance against the Sixers. He looks to be a valuable piece of LA’s young core alongside LBJ next season.
Furkan Korkmaz, Sixers
You all knew this one was coming. WOW. Who would’ve thought a second year player out of Turkey would be the consensus summer league standout this year. Against the Celtics, Furkan dropped 40(!!!) points on 8-14 shooting beyond the arc. He brings exactly what the Sixers desperately need: knock down three-point shooting. Korkmaz also showed the ability to drive to the rim and finish with a variety of floaters. He shot well at the free throw line, and he composed himself under pressure. Watch out for this potential sixth man on the Sixers roster next year.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies
Only 18 years old, scouts knew JJJ had tremendous upside. It looks like he’s proving his fourth overall selection a worthy one. He put up 29 points on 8-13 from three-point land to outshine Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. Jackson Jr.’s ability to stroke it from deep, along with his big frame and defensive post-presence make him one of the most well rounded young bigs in recent memory.
Trae Young, Hawks
On the other hand, Trae Young has been very disappointing thus far in summer league play. He was held scoreless in a loss to the Trail Blazers, and only put up 10 points in a bout with the Jazz that saw him and Grayson Allen scuffle leading to double techs. He shot 3-16 with only one three-pointer that night. However, he followed it up with a 21-point performance against the Knicks. Obviously it is very early and any takeaways are speculative, but it looks like Trae Young may struggle against bigger defenders in the NBA.
Mikal Bridges, Suns
The standout shooting guard from Villanova looked every bit as good as advertised against the Bucks. He shot 5-6 from the floor, including 4-5 from beyond the arc. He only had one turnover to go with three assists and a block. Bridges looks to be the 3-and-D wing that scouts had foreseen, and he will play a big role with the Suns in which he may start at the 2 or 3 spot next season.
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